The aim of FUN OCT is to expand the non-invasive optical biopsy capability of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and combine it with multiphoton tomography (MT) to develop novel functional capabilities enabling 'morphofunctional' performance, i.e. the fusion of anatomic and functional imaging at the cellular resolution level. These methodologies will enable unprecedented non-invasive detection of depth-resolved physiological, metabolic and molecular specific tissue information. In other words a novel, powerful medical imaging platform is envisioned.
The functional extensions of OCT comprise polarisation-sensitive OCT, Doppler OCT, spectroscopic OCT and OCT for optophysiology. Furthermore, OCT is combined with MT, thus providing additional functional imaging and diagnostic capabilities. It should be emphasised that the choice of applications illustrate the general clinical impact and applicability of the developed novel imaging platform. In order to facilitate such development, the consortium has identified two key enabling device and system technologies, namely novel light source technology and probe delivery and applicator systems.
Polarization sensitive OCT (PS OCT): sensitive to tissue birefringence, thereby enabling detection of depth resolved molecular changes in large anisotropic molecules like collagen. PS OCT contributes to early detection of skin cancer and detection of AMD and glaucoma.
Doppler OCT (DOCT): capable of non-invasively extracting and quantifying blood flow in tissue. DOCT is able to detect early neovascularisation in retinal pathologies, e.g., diabetic retinopathy or AMD, and can also enhance OCT contrast to act as a quantitative angiogenetic marker in early neoplasia.
Spectroscopic OCT (SOCT): potential to extract depth resolved metabolic tissue information, e.g. the concentration of endogenous or exogenous chromophores. Depth-resolved quantification, at the micrometer scale, of tissue metabolism is facilitated by SOCT.
Optophysiology: an optical analogue to electrophysiology, by detecting spatially resolved changes in optical backscattering caused by physiological tissue changes. Detection of cell activity and cell physiology by OCT enables better understanding of basic physiological phenomena and also contributes to better understanding of retinal pathogenesis by localizing physiologic tissue function.
Combination of multiphoton tomography and OCT: to enable cellular and molecular diagnostic imaging by improving and combining two optical imaging modalities.
These functional OCT capabilities are enabled due to the following envisaged developments:
Ultrahigh speed, polarisation and phase stable, broad bandwidth tuneable lasers at 1050 nm and 1300 nm accomplishing several volumes per second imaging speed.
Ultrabroad bandwidth Ti:sapphire lasers for ultrahigh axial functional OCT resolution, combined with ultrabroad band excited multiphoton tomography for excitation of several diagnostically important chromophores for spectroscopic tissue information.
Ultrahigh speed, ultrabroad bandwidth tuneable laser technology at 800 nm for volumetric functional imaging with enhanced contrast and resolution.
Swept source OCT (SS OCT) and spectral domain OCT (SD OCT) systems including optical design, control electronics, hard-/software development as basis of the functional extensions.
Development of novel, advanced delivery probes including endoscopic probes for oral, lung and gastroenterological applications, hand-held probes for dermatologic applications, microscopy setups for the combination of OCT with multiphoton tomography and application systems for ophthalmic diagnosis.
Development of novel contrast agents for functional OCT including nanoparticle-based agents that can act as ligands to specific molecules or proteins.
Last Updated on 2/9/2008
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